emotion#25: Perplexity

Photo by the author.

Once upon a time there were two little girls who loved many things but loved each other more than anything else.

They were sisters without the fights, best friends without the gossip, accomplices without the crime. They were so in tune with each other that people often couldn’t tell one from the other, as if their closeness made their very bodies and features alike.

Every afternoon, after school, the girls would spend most of their time together. They preferred being left alone in each other’s company, and “what they did together is their own business”, said their open hearted parents.

Therefore, it wasn’t hard for them to keep their own little secret away from curious eyes.

Since the moment they met each other, the girls had been keeping a promise. Inside their chest — under layers of clothing and skin and muscle and bone — each of them kept a small piece of wood, carved and colored and inscribed.

Everyday — sometimes in the park, sometimes at school, sometimes at home— they would touch each other’s skin, right above the heart, and they would feel for that piece of wood. If they could feel it in each other’s chest, they knew everything was normal. They were safe, and nothing bad could happen. The world made sense.

Until the day when it didn’t.

The sun was high, they knew something was wrong. They hurried. She felt for it, and it wasn’t there. Above her sister’s, best friend’s, soulmate’s heart, there was her breath, her skin, her warmth, and nothing else.

The sky was dark, and the heartbeat started fading, and fading, and fading.